Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by Tailwind1
- Sail Date: January 2016
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
This ship, this cruise, this vacation aboard the fabulous ship is not to be missed. You can listen to the minor, nearly irrelevant details of this ship and the food and the service, but if you do that, you are missing out on a terrific experience. There will be many complaints about this cruise. For one thing, it left a day late, so out 12 day itinerary was cut to 11 days. Worse still, the *entire* itinerary was changed. We didn’t visit a single port that was on our original itinerary aside from Labadee. I don’t think that RCCL went above and beyond to compensate for the lost day. Their compensation was just ok. I missed out on a motorcycle rental in Cayman and sailing in Cozumel. Both were genuine disappointments for me. But is this a fair way to review this cruise? Should a potential passenger skip this ship and go elsewhere for fear that this will happen to them? I don’t think that would be wise. An itinerary change can happen at any time for any reason. It has happened to us before…late arrivals, skipped ports. I’m sure that this can be disappointing – I spoke with several people that were disheartened with the itinerary change. Aside from my personal excursions disappointment, it did seem silly to go to San Juan and only stay 5 hours. All aboard at 12:30 just seems stupid. I’m glad that it wasn’t a new port for me. But this has nothing to do with what will happen to you aboard the Anthem of the Seas.
There were several “negative” experiences and I will get into them. Not a single one of them is significant enough to dissuade me from coming back on this ship – the sooner the better. But I think that its important to mention these “negatives” to validate this review. I see the things that are “wrong”, but they are very much not a big deal. So here we go:
A lot of things seem to be broken. When we saw Spectra’s Cabaret, the robotic screens weren’t working. Very disappointing. There was an automatic sliding glass door going into the Solarium that became less and less responsive to approaching passengers. During the span of perhaps 30 minutes, it stopped working completely. The outdoor movie screen would flicker and do these digital hiccups. Very annoying. Twice, we saw workman replacing a virtual balcony screen in a stateroom. It’s an 80” hi-def TV screen mounted on its side. Odd that these would already be broken on such a new ship. But is is very comforting to know that they had (at least) 2 new ones, in stock and waiting. If my virtual balcony broke, I would be very disappointed if it couldn’t be fixed. And that illustrates an important point….any minor issue that we had was – without exception – addressed immediately and professionally. Honestly, they were so well taken care of that I don’t remember what the problems were. As for the hi-tech snafus, I guess its to be expected when there are a lot of things that can break; they eventually will. During the showing of The Gift, there was a 5 minute pause due to technical difficulty. These things did not affect my vacation. If they ruin your week, you don’t need a cruise vacation, you need a psychologist.
The entertainment was very good. I understand the bewilderment that some have expressed about Spectra’s Cabaret and The Gift. I don’t “get” them either, but they are incredible. Multi-million dollar productions that are a privilege to attend. We Will Rock You is awesome! And I like that there is the singers, jugglers, comedian, magician on other nights. There were two tribute bands. First, Beatle Maniacs (saw them on the Quantum) at the beginning of the cruise. They played the Music Hall, but not before a full stage Beatles concert in the theater. A+ Later, Draw the Line, an Aerosmith tribute band played the Music Hall, several times. They were excellent. I played the game in the Escape Room. What a unique and totally excellent thing to have on a ship! Did N* and the bumper cars. This ship is so excellent.
The food… Breakfast is never anything to write about. Boooooring! But we ate everywhere. Izumi was 10x better than I remember from the Quantum. Plus we did a sushi making class. Great. I’ve never been a fan of Chops, but it was excellent this time. The upcharge for the dry-aged Porterhouse may have contributed to that. They do not have live lobster on this vessel. As a New Englander, I take offense to frozen lobster served (for a $21 upcharge). RCCL needs to get with the program here. The NCL Breakaway has live lobster and fresh seafood aboard.
Don’t be afraid of Wonderland, even if you are a ‘meat and potatoes’ person. There’s nothing outrageous on that menu, but the presentations are second to none. We had an outstanding meal at Chic. I don’t understand why anybody complains about Dynamic Dining. I think its perfect. Different venue, different menu, every night. We ended up at Jamie Oliver’s 3 times, Wonderland twice. We didn’t have a bad meal, anywhere. Although the roast beef sandwiches don’t seem to be as good as they used to be. When they bus the tables, the table cleaners stack all of the dishes on carts and when they are full, they wheel the cart out of the dining room. I think that these should be covered with a table cloth or something. When you are experiencing fine dining, you don’t want to see someone else’s garbage. They should start doing this today.
The Chef’s Table has a new menu. Amazing meal. The WOW bands are worth $5, I guess. They are particularly comfortable, but they are practical. And, finally, the Royal IQ app is absolutely excellent. It has the Cruise Compass on it, your personal calendar with activities, excursions and dining schedule. If you see something in the Cruise Compass that you want to do, simply click on it to add it to your calendar. It is then listed as a “to-do” list. This app puts NCL’s app to shame.
Lastly, the Diamond Club is great. It has been worth the wait to get to this level to now enjoy this terrific perk.
There is nothing wrong with this ship. You may listen to others, but this is our 3rd trip on the Quantum Class and we are going to keep going. If you don’t go, you are cheating yourself out of a great time.
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